Caught My Eye…

Woohoo – we made it to Friday!

Coming to you from The Western Word world headquarters deep inside a bunker somewhere in Montana, this is “Caught My Eye!” This column is posted right here every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little. Basically, nothing is off-limit – nothing!

Today I write about Lt. Governor John Walsh, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Steve Daines, Max Baucus, the Secretary of the Air Force, the Secretary of Defense, Malmstrom, F.E. Warren, and Minot, Global Strike Command, Mike “libido” Huckabee, Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, Bloggers’ rights, birthdays, plus we have two people who are making Montana proud!

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to March and “Sequestration Day 2013.” Do you feel different? I’ve heard that the Feds may cut down on the number of drones they have spying on us, and we will probably see fewer chemtrails in our skies…

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, the “Caught My Eye” column is where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week – and I often throw in some sarcasm just to make you smile. So get ready to head into your weekend armed with knowledge and a smile.

Today I write about the racist joke, no free concerts, ninth DUI, Champ Edmunds, the fertilizer spill, wolf kills, Secretary of Defense votes, DUIs in Helena, Woodward, plus I dust off Jack’s Political Inbox and peek inside!  There’s a lot more so read on…

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Thursday Numbers

Finally – January ends today! Congrats on making it!

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, “Thursday Numbers” is my weekly column where I take a look at the numbers in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes laced with just a little sarcasm.

Please note that if you read this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. Then again, when they find out you spend your time reading blogs they may not be that impressed…

This week I write about unemployment, Senator Menendez, McDonalds in Moscow, KC and the Sunshine Band, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Glacier National Park, State of the State speech, the 14 MPH speed limit, Armed Services, Secretary of Defense, lunch money, Blackberry 10, the Super Bowl, and much more!

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Powell Speaks: The Senate & Republicans Should Listen

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was on Meet the Press Sunday to promote Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense (SecDef). He also spoke about the Republican Party – in fact he slapped the Republican Party pretty hard during the interview.

The GOP needed the wake-up. Will they listen?

You can watch the show HERE and read the transcript HERE.

I’ve already written that I think Chuck Hagel is a “great pick” for SecDef. Most Republicans would too if a Republican President would have nominated Hagel to be the next SecDef instead of Democratic President Barack Obama.

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Cuts like a Knife

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made news yesterday announcing plans to make cuts in the Department of Defense (DOD). Some may be saying his plans are more in line with a Friday the 13th slashing by Jason.

Of course, Gates says there are “no sacred cows” in his plan.

Two things stood out to me while listening to the briefing.

First, the Secretary wants to close or consolidate bases. He said:

I’ve also authorized each of the military departments to consider consolidation or closure of excess bases and other facilities where appropriate. This is obviously a politically fraught topic. Currently, Congress has placed legal constraints on DOD’s ability to close installations. But hard is not impossible, and I hope Congress will work with us to reduce unnecessary costs in this part of the defense enterprise.

This could spell bad news for smaller bases, especially those with one or two missions. Frankly, it will be easy for the military branches to identify bases to close or consolidate, but actually closing or consolidating them will be a big obstacle.

Being identified by the military branch as a base that should be closed or consolidated will leave a black mark on that base. At least it will let the community and its leaders know that their base may not be around forever as planned if the closure/consolidation plan makes it through Congress.

If you are a supporter of a base in your community, now would be the time to get all hands on deck and keep your “sacred cow” off the list. Continue reading